Annual Report of Philanthropy
Dear Alumni and Friends,
I write with a heavy and uplifted heart, which seems to defy both logic and gravity.
This is my last official “Message from the Dean,” as health considerations have prompted me to step down at the end of the year. In the past, this letter has provided a fitting forum for me to convey how overwhelmingly thankful I am to the Boalt community. Therefore, it seems fitting to bid farewell here.
As fate would have it, my last days as dean coincide with the end of our historic Campaign for Boalt Hall—which is immensely satisfying. We triggered quite a reaction after launching the $125 million campaign in 2005. I heard it called “audacious,” “unrealistic,” and “half-baked,” among other descriptive terms. Yes, the goal was 10 times higher than Boalt’s previous capital campaign. But I knew we needed that level of investment to transform the law school and maintain the excellence that our alumni, students, and faculty expected.
Even with that ambitious goal, threatened by a jarring recession midway through the campaign, here we are—just $4.3 million to go (as of September 1) before the end of the year. I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done to make Boalt the envy of law schools all over the world, and I’m extremely grateful to those of you who will support us as we cross the campaign finish line.
I’ll remain at Boalt as a faculty member, in part because I’m selfish—I love seeing up close what this campaign has meant for our school. We launched it with four targets in mind: transforming our tired infrastructure to compete with other top law schools, recruiting and retaining the very best faculty, expanding our financial aid program to make Boalt accessible for all qualified applicants and to give our graduates true freedom of career choice, and bolstering our research output to help tackle some of society’s most dire issues.
Today, Boalt has never looked better. Since 2004, we’ve hired 51 new world-class faculty members. Our financial aid expenditures continue to rise. Our research centers are producing high-quality, high- volume work and are sought after by policy makers in California and across the country. Our innovative Professional LL.M. Program is the only one of its kind. And we are rapidly creating a unique online education initiative that will position us as a leader in this emerging area.
As we enter a new era of legal education and practice, our challenges remain formidable with diminishing investment from the state as an ongoing reality. I hope you can help Boalt continue to soar, and I thank you for being part of the most inspiring community I’ve ever known.
Christopher Edley, Jr.
The Honorable William H. Orrick, Jr. Distinguished Professor and Dean
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